A man has been charged with causing the death of a much-loved dad in a hit-and-run tragedy as he made his way home from the pub.
Gavin Bolam was heading back to Hebburn after an evening out with friends when he was struck by a car in Victoria Road West in the town, close to Mill Crescent.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The death of the 56-year-old, of Hartleyburn Avenue, at 12.15am on Saturday, April 9, left his loved ones and friends devastated, with his family describing the father-of-two as “simply the best.”
Now Allan Denis Hale, 39, of Appleby Gardens in Beacon Lough, Gateshead, has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving; a separate dangerous driving offence; two counts of failing to stop and failing to provide a specimen.
He is due to appear at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, August 30.
We as a family have no idea how to begin to deal with the loss which we now face.Family of Gavin Bolam
Mr Bolam, a print worker for a Washington firm, had lived in Hebburn for about 20 years after growing up in the Pelaw area of Gateshead, was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was keen Newcastle United fan and enjoyed playing the guitar.
As his family began to grieve for their loss, his relatives said in a statement: “We as a family have no idea how to begin to deal with the loss which we now face.
“Gavin was a fabulous man who was loved by so many and whose kindness and compassion touched the lives of so many people.
“Our only comfort at this tragic time comes from the overwhelming support of friends, those who knew him and those touched by these events.”
The statement added: “We are still trying to come to terms with it all.
“We really can’t thank people enough for all the kind messages we have received. They are really helping us.
“We would ask that we are given time to grieve in private the loss of a man who was simply the best’.”
A collection held at his funeral raised more than £1,000, which has been donated to Cullercoats RNLI, as he had several friends involved in its work.
The family also said: “Gavin was so well liked and well-loved. “We would also like to thank The Wardley pub, in Bill Quay, for their kind message. He was well known there, so their message was really appreciated.”
A minute’s silence was held at the Brack Terrace pub head of its weekly quiz as its regulars paid their respected to Mr Bolam.
His family also sent thanks to witnesses who contacted the police investigation team.